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Wii U Teen Game Night
Wednesday, September 25 › 6-8 p.m.
Columbia Public Library
Test drive the library’s new Wii U game console. Become a dancing superstar in “Just Dance 4,” or team up with friends to conquer Bowser in the new “Super Mario Bros.” We’ll also have snacks and a selection of the library’s newest teen fiction, music and DVDs for you to check out. Don’t have a library card? We’ll have library card applications on hand for your parent or guardian to sign. Ages 12 and older. Call (573) 443-3161 register!
Originally published at Program Preview: Wii U Teen Game Night.
What can you tell us about yourself in just six words? This limited-word writing challenge can be infinitely easy or very tricky depending on how you think about it. No writing experience is necessary; after all, you’re the master of this subject.
Share your six-word memoir by October 9 for a chance to win a Barnes & Noble gift card. Submit your entry online, or fill out a form while you’re at the library. We’ll share your stories on our teen blog during Teen Read Week, October 13-19. This year’s theme is “Seek the Unknown.”
Originally published at Six-Word Memoir Writing Contest.
I will use any excuse to write about (or eat) food. So, when I discovered that not only is September national rice month and national mushroom month, but that today is also James Beard award-winning chef Mario Batali’s birthday, well, I just had to bring it to your attention. Sounds like a good excuse for whipping up a pot of creamy risotto, yes?
The library has a number of Batali’s cookbooks. One of my favorites is the relatively slim and fairly impractical “Holiday Food.” These are not get-it-on-the-table-in-30-minutes dinners but are instead let-me-show-you-how-much-I-love-you-by-making-you-a-Mythic-Pasta-Dome menus. (Batali also appears on the cover in those ridiculous but endearing orange clogs of his, which always make me smile.) If you need recipes more conducive to weeknight cooking, check out “Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking at Home.”
Of course, nothing says Italian cooking like pasta. If you want a book that is as much a pleasure to look at as it is to cook from, “The Geometry of Pasta,” published by the aptly named Quirk Books, is for you. Or perhaps you don’t want to cook pasta but want to read about other people cooking pasta. (I suggest cooking pasta and then eating that pasta while reading about pasta.) “I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti” is a lighthearted memoir about the food that sustained New Yorker Giulia Melucci through several failed relationships. I also recommend “On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome, with Love and Pasta,” cooking teacher and travel writer Jen Lin-Liu’s attempt to discover who actually invented our beloved noodles.
There are Italian cookbooks galore on the library shelves, so join me in celebrating Mario, rice, mushrooms and more. Buon appetito!
I never had to worry about nightmares involving flesh-eating chalk monsters…until now. Brandon Sanderson’s “The Rithmatist” is a fresh story completely different than many cookie-cutter fantasy books out there (although I enjoy the formulaic variety as well).
This alternate reality world is set in the American Isles (the United States made up of islands). In this world, Rithmatists are select individuals who are able to bring life to simple chalk drawings and use them to fight against wild chalkings–monstrous chalk creatures that can eat flesh right off the bone.
The main protagonist, Joel, would give anything to be a Rithmatist. While his home is at the best academy for these chalk conjurers, Joel has a lowly status and failed the ceremony of becoming a Rithmatist. He can only watch as those around him learn how to create chalk creatures and use them in duels.
However, Joel’s unique status of being knowledgeable of Rithmatists without being one helps him as he attempts to solve a mystery involving an increasing number of Rithmatist kidnappings. Joel is helped along by a struggling Rithmatist named Melody and the timid professor charged with investigating these crimes. Readers follow the odd trio along from one discovery to the next.
In some ways, this book reminded me of a twisted version of Pokemon–people having duels involving creatures they unleash. However, I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen Pokemon savagely devour victims. The duels are a significant part of this book. You’ll even find diagrams of chalk duels with explanations of strategy, complexity, and when to use each defense. Add Sanderson’s memorable characters and a fast-paced plot, and this fantasy adventure becomes a highly recommended book. Be warned, this book is the first in a series (shocker, I know).
Originally published at Books for Dudes – Rithmatist.
StoryCorps is the largest oral history project in our nation’s history. The people interviewed aren’t celebrities, and the people asking the questions aren’t professionals. These are everyday folks interviewed by people they know – sons and daughters, spouses, close friends. The moments captured in this way are incredibly intimate and profound. If you are new to this project, I suggest you familiarize yourself by listening to the story of Danny & Annie, a Brooklyn couple married for 27 years when Danny was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Quiet, tender and full of grace, their story is both ordinary and remarkable. “All There Is: Love Stories From StoryCorps” and “Listening Is an Act of Love” are two collections of similarly compelling stories from this momentous project.
Do you know a veteran with a story to tell? StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative (an oral history project honoring post-9/11 veterans, service members and military families) is coming to the University of Missouri campus on September 11, 12 and 13, 2013. To learn more about this project and to find out how to participate, visit the MU Extension Community Arts Project website.
Editor’s note: At all of our library locations this August, horticulturist and library staff member Alan Helland presented programs about native plants. This article shares some of the information and resources he highlighted. More information can be found in the Missouri Department of Conservation’s publication on native plants and the library resources listed below.
What is a native plant? These are trees, flowers, grasses and other plants that have developed, occur naturally or existed for many years in an area. In North America, a plant is often deemed native if it was present before European colonization.
Some native plants have adapted to limited environments, harsh climates or exceptional soil conditions. While these adaptations mean that some types of plants can exist only within a very limited range, most native plants can thrive in a variety of locations.
The beauty of and interest in native wildflowers comes partly from their wildness. We are all witness to the wild dwindling away, and using natives as a part of a landscape brings a small bit of wildness home and acts in some tiny measure to slow the wild’s passing away. Additionally, natives require less maintenance than other plants. They are beneficial to wildlife and many species of birds and insects, including butterflies, that depend on them. They create a sense of a local place, and they provide an excellent alternative to lawns.
A Few Words on Lawns
It wasn’t until the early 1800s that turf lawns started gaining popularity in America, although in Europe, the “English” lawn had become a status symbol for the wealthy by the 1600s. After World War II, the pursuit of the perfect lawn became part the suburban lifestyle, helped along by the creation of chemical fertilizers and weed killers. We spend billions per year on lawns and gardens – $29.5 billion in 2012, according to a National Gardening Survey.
A good alternative to a traditional lawn is Buffalo grass. The Missouri Department of Conservation explains that this low-growing Missouri native requires only one-half-inch of water a week; standard turf grasses require one to two inches. Buffalo grass turf takes little or no fertilizer and is insect and disease-resistant. Because it grows to just four to six inches high, you can forget your weekly mowing routine – once a month will do. Buffalo grass thrives in full sun and prefers dry, clay or average soil (not sandy).
Select your natives on the basis of your location and how much sunlight the area gets, its soil structure, soil fertility and pH. Add organic matter because whatever your soil type, well composted organic matter will improve fertility and water retention. And a word of advice: start small. It is really easy to get overly ambitious when you are planning for spring planting!
Favorite Natives for Landscaping
- Butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa L.). Growing conditions: full sun, dry, unfertile soil
- Blue bells (Mertensia virginica). Growing conditions: full shade, moist, rich soil
- Blood root (Sanguinaria canadensis). Growing conditions: full shade, moist, rich soil
- Blue wild indigo (Baptisia australis). Growing conditions: full sun, good soil
- Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis). Growing conditions: shade, moist, rich soil
- Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis). Growing conditions: Partial shade, moderate soil
You can find some favorites of your own by checking out one of the best Missouri wildflower books around, “Missouri Wildflowers” by Edgar Denison or some of the resources listed in DBRL’s Sustainable Gardening & Food Production subject guide.
With the recent release of the movie “Sea of Monsters” and the upcoming publication of “House of Hades,” Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series continues to gain popularity. Explore his new take on Greek mythology with activities and crafts. Ages 9-14. Registration begins Tuesday, September 17. Please call (573) 443-3161 to sign-up.
Originally published at Program Preview: Percy Jackson and Greek Mythology.
One Read programming begins this week, and our friends at the Tribune have published some insightful pieces about Keija Parssinen’s book “The Ruins of Us” in advance of the discussions, films, art exhibits and other events happening this September.
The Tribune’s Amy Wilder writes eloquently about the deep sense of place and emotional intensity of “The Ruins of Us.” She describes Parssinen’s roots in Saudi Arabia and how her outsider’s perspective lends a certain insight into that country’s culture. Read Wilder’s piece, Years Spent Abroad Shaped One Read Author’s Perspective.
Finally, for the second year the Tribune is hosting One Read’s online book club. Each Monday we summarize two or three chapters and offer questions for discussion. You are invited to join the conversation and contribute your comments!
The post Author Keija Parssinen and One Read in the Columbia Daily Tribune appeared first on One READ.
As my dear husband keeps reminding me, the MU Tigers are back in action this weekend with a football season opener against Murray State. Whether your reaction to football team news is “Wah-hoo!” or “Boo-hoo,” your library has entertainment and resources for everyone.
For the football foodie
Love sporting events mostly for the food? You are not alone. (Mmm…barbecue.) We have cookbooks galore and lots of tips for entertaining and feeding hungry groups of tailgaters.
For the literary sports fan
If watching football isn’t enough, you can read about the game’s history or some of its most famous (or infamous) teams. Check out our football book list.
For the non-fan
If you need a little alternative entertainment, visit our Events & Festivals subject guide for links to area event calendars and other goings-on around Mid-Missouri. You could also check out your favorite television series or pick up a True/False Film Festival documentary.
What are you doing this football Saturday?
The post Football for All: Library Resources for Sports Fans (and Less-Than-Fans) appeared first on DBRL Next.
This summer we hosted a wildly popular teen program called “Project Lunch.” Young adults were invited to each of our three branches to enjoy lunch while working on craft projects together. Now that school is back in session we will be transitioning this program to a new title, “Project Teen.” Join us for free pizza as we make survival bracelets from paracord. Ages 11-16. Registration begins Tuesday, September 3. Please call (573) 443-3161 to sign-up.
Originally published at Project Teen: Survival Bracelets.
The first time my husband-to-be and I went out, he wore a bright blue raincoat and Russian-Army-style high boots. He offered no excuse for the flashy raincoat, but the boots, I soon found out, were supposed to show me how much he admired my culture (I am, originally, from Russia), and so, I decided to give him another chance.
Things did work out between us, and half a year later, I found myself planning our honeymoon in Paris. The first thing on my agenda was letting him to know that the boots were not going with us, nor would they be welcomed in our house afterwards. As for the raincoat, there was no time to find a substitute for it, and since the weather forecast for Paris was rainy, I had to put up with it.
I know what you think – a honeymoon in Paris sounds both indulgent and clichéd. Well, the only excuse I have is that I was already forty-five, and that trip to France was going to be my second overseas adventure – the first being my immigration from Moscow to Columbia, MO.
The weather forecast turned out to be half-true: it rained for three days out of six. During those days, we, armed with a guide book I’d checked out from the library, kept busy exploring numerous Parisian museums. (To our great disappointment, the Louvre happened to be on strike (!) for all but three hours of our stay in Paris .) The rest of the time, we spent strolling along the Champs-Élysées, exploring the Latin Quarter, climbing everything that could be climbed – from the Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower, and following other guidebook recommendations.
There was one thing, though, we never did – we never went to any fine restaurants. Not that we have anything against French cuisine, I just don’t like crème brûlée and get disgusted by even looking at fried frog legs, and my husband cannot stand the mere idea of pâté de foie gras . Also, what’s the point in spending a lot of money on food?
In any case, we decided to put our money into music; we listened to chamber music in old cathedrals and went to the Paris Opera to watch Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin. The latter was performed in German (here’s an opera tradition for you!) with French subtitles, and the tickets were much more expensive than I care to remember. Yet we had a great time there, although it did take us some time to get over the sight of mythical medieval characters milling around the stage in the clothes of street people of the 1920s (we also feared that Lohengrin, a knight of the Holy Grail, would appear on a motorcycle wearing a black leather jacket). Still, the singers were good, and we soon forgot about the silly costumes and began enjoying the performance. And how could we not? After all, we were on our honeymoon, and the sounds of the famous wedding march (apparently performed at every British Royal wedding, too!) made me feel both tearful and special.
It was hard to leave the City of Lights – the weather gradually improved, the fountains in the Tuileries Garden sprang to life, and my husband put away his rain coat whose innocently-blue color raised quite a few Parisian eyebrows (they all wore black that spring). I’m not saying that we greatly improved our fashion sense – Parisian Chic never rubbed off on us. Yet we improved our understanding of another culture, another people, and also, of the city about which Hemingway wrote: “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
P.S. By the way, Lohengrin never appeared on a motorcycle. To our great relief, he arrived on a boat pulled by a white swan .
Why I checked it out: The title intrigued me. Plus, it’s a 2014 Gateway Award nominee.
Why I liked this book: This is a fun, light read and all the chapter titles are college essay topics that relate (though sometimes very indirectly) to what will happen in the chapter. Gobi, a foreign exchange student from Lithuania, stays with Perry’s family during his senior year, but Perry doesn’t really spend much time with her because she’s very mousy. When his parents make him take her to prom, he discovers she’s actually a highly trained assassin.
Three words that describe this book: fast-paced, action-packed and humorous.
Originally published at Staff Review: Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick.
The popularity of book clubs and community-wide reading programs, such as One Read, reinforces Nicholson’s assertion. People like to know someone else is out there, thinking about the same things they are. In honor of the slate of One Read events coming up next month, I go meta and present four books about book clubs:
“The End of Your Life Book Club” by Will Schwalbe
A friend once asked me what I would do if I knew this was my last day to live. Without hesitation, I answered, “Read faster.” Will Schwalbe’s mom was of the same mind-set. This is the non-fiction account of the two-person book club he and his mother formed in the final months of her life, as he sat with her through chemo treatments. Both avid readers, they’d always bonded through literature. Their tastes were wide-ranging, and each chapter is titled after a book they discussed.
“The Jane Austen Book Club” by Karen Joy Fowler
Six acquaintances meet to discuss Austen’s novels, even as their own lives play out similarly to the plots they discuss. The club organizer, Jocelyn, is a figure much like Jane Austen’s “Emma.” She delights in organizing and planning the lives of others. Since Fowler’s story is set in 21st-century California, there are also modern elements, including divorce.
“The Cherry Cola Book Club” by Ashton Lee
I’m automatically in favor of any book where a librarian is the hero. Maura Beth Mayhew runs the public library in the fictional town of Cherico, Mississippi. She starts the Cherry Cola Book Club in an effort to increase circulation numbers and save the library from city council members who see it as an expendable luxury.
“Read and Buried” by Erika Chase
Things are going well for the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straw Society, until their guest author is murdered. It turns out Derek Alton was not only a mystery author but also a mysterious character with dark secrets. Now the book club members have their own whodunit to solve.
We read about book clubs to know that we are not alone in our desire to discuss what we’ve read.
The Newbery Medal is awarded each year to “the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” In plain English: This award is given to the best chapter book of the year. Some popular Newbery award-winning titles include “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate, “The Giver” by Lois Lowry and “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman. At the Columbia Public Library, we’ve just started staging our own mock Newbery awards, and it’s not too late to join in the fun!
About our Mock Newbery awards:
Throughout the fall, we are inviting youth in grades 4-7 to join us at the library twice per month to discuss Newbery finalists and defend the book you feel is the “Heavy Medalist” of the year. Library staff will facilitate the sessions along with Nancy Baumann, a local educator and previous Newbery committee member.
How to get involved:
Sessions will be held at the Columbia Public Library on the following Wednesdays: Sept. 11, 25, Oct. 9, 23, Nov. 6, 20, Dec. 4, 18. Registration begins Tuesday, August 27. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161.
Originally published at Heavy Medal: Mock Newbery Awards.
Thursday, September 19 › 7 p.m.
Columbia, Columbia College, Launer Auditorium
Thursday, September 26 › 7 p.m.
Fulton, William Woods University Library Auditorium
One Read author Keija Parssinen steps up to the podium to talk about growing up in Saudi Arabia and how it inspired her to write her debut novel, “The Ruins of Us.” She’ll also speak to writing as a craft and answer your questions.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing following each of these talks.
Browse our full listing of One Read events in our online program guide, and join us in September for book discussions, films, presentations, radio programs, art and more. And don’t forget to sign up to let us know you are reading this year’s selection.
OverDrive Media Console 3 was recently released for iOS and Android devices. This update condenses all of the app features, including the bookshelf and settings, into one easy-to-use menu. It also allows you to sync your most recent position, bookmarks and libraries across multiple devices and change the playback speed for audiobooks. Watch this video for a short overview of the new features. The update does not change the catalog portion of the app, so the procedure for finding and borrowing books remains the same. The app can be updated or installed from the app store on your device. Please contact us if you have any questions.
At the conclusion of the Teen Photo Contest, we prepare for the launch of our next competition, Six-Word Teen Memoirs. What can you tell us about yourself in just six words? This limited-word writing challenge can be infinitely easy or very tricky depending on how you think about it. No writing experience is necessary; after all, you’re the master of this subject. Find contest rules and submission guidelines after Monday, September 9 at teens.dbrl.org.
Earlier in August we asked our patrons to choose the “People’s Choice” award winner by “liking” their photographs on the library’s Facebook page. Winner Brianna Bogucki received over 40 votes for her submission, “A Bug’s Life.” She will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble as her award.
Brianna said, “I find that in Missouri, we often only see cicadas as a nuisance. They’re considered noisy and unattractive. In my photo, you can see all the intricate details and colors on the cicada’s wings, and its bright eyes really stand out. I thought that my photo may be able to make people see cicadas as maybe not gorgeous, but perhaps fascinating for just a moment.”
Congratulations to all our winners and many thanks to our talented teen patrons for their participation! To receive email reminders about our upcoming Six-Word Teen Memoir Contest, be sure to register for our blog updates!
© All rights to the photographs contained herein reserved by their respective photographers.
Originally published at Photo Contest: People’s Choice Award Winner.
Did you know that you can follow DBRLTeen on Instagram? With three library branches, two bookmobiles, and nearly 3,000 visitors a day, there is almost always something or someone to photograph! Get previews of our upcoming teen book displays, learn more about our programs, or just have fun following our shenanigans online. We invite our teen patrons to share photos of the books you’re reading and then upload them to Instagram. If you tag the library (#dbrlteen), it will appear here on our teen blog!
And now, we are pleased to announce the winner among those contestants ages 15-18 competing in the Nature division: Helen Temporal. She says, “I was in a class where we were supposed to take pictures and I was just in the right place at the right time.” Helen will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble as her award.
Tomorrow we wrap-up our Teen Photography Contest by recognizing the winner of the “People’s Choice” award.Gallery of Nature Division Submissions (Ages 15-18)
Originally published at Photo Contest: Nature Division Winner (Ages 15-18).
I’m a fan of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer ” like small children are fans of candy. I credit Buffy with getting me hooked on the Horror-Fantasy genre. As for many Buffy devotees, my favorite character in the series is Spike, played by the handsome James Marsters. When I learned that Marsters was involved with Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files, a series that revolves around a modern day wizard in Chicago, I jumped on these books like Harry Potter jumps to conclusions before he has all the facts.
Marsters is the reader for most of the audiobook versions of The Dresden Files, and he is the perfect narrator to play Harry Dresden, a private eye solving all manner of supernatural crimes and battling a variety of fantastical creatures. Marsters’ voice is gruff, sarcastic and appropriately self-deprecating to allow for humor without humiliation. Harry is down-to-earth and a well-rounded character.
Newcomers to this series should be aware of one major pitfall, however, which I personally find very distracting: its women. It seems that most of the women are sexualized, vapid or motherly. The only woman that comes close to being strong and independent is Murphy, but she is described as a tiny cheerleader. This successfully undermines the reader’s ability to take her seriously. This wouldn’t bother me so much if there weren’t also tons of male characters that are tough, complex and miles more capable of handling situations than the women. In the three books that I read, only a third of the characters are women, and of those women, nearly half of them are highly sexualized.
Complaints about female characters aside, Jim Butcher is a master of plot. He obeys the writing rule that states when you drive your character up a tree, throw stones at him. The reader actually doesn’t know what will happen next or how Dresden will get out of the current jam, but when he does, the method is not only surprising but also delightfully well thought out. Butcher is a talented writer, and if you’re looking for a fantasy adventure noir-inspired novel, then the Dresden Files are for you! Start with the first in the series, “Storm Front.”
Our teen blog not only provides access to the library’s helpful online resources, but it also serves as a gallery for our creative teen patrons. In addition to our Homework Help databases and ACT/SAT test prep guides, be sure to check out our two published booklets of “Flash Fiction” short stories and our teen photography showcase. Subscribe to our blog updates and get news of upcoming writing and photography contests delivered directly to your inbox!
Today, DBRLTeen is excited to announce that Rebecca Rubinstein is the winner among those contestants ages 12-14 competing in the Nature division. When asked about her photo, “Florida Sunset,” she simply explained, “We had been on the beach for a while and I saw how bright and pretty the sunset was so I just had to get a picture.” Rebecca will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble as her award.
Tomorrow we announce the winner among those contestants ages 15-18 competing in the Nature division. On Friday, we will announce the winner of the “People’s Choice” award and share news of our teen contest planned for the fall!Gallery of Nature Division Submissions (Ages 12-14)
Originally published at Photo Contest: Nature Division Winner (Ages 12-14).